So what’s all this you may be reading about your “comfort zone”? I’m betting that if you’ve got a fear of driving, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Your comfort zone is just that, a “zone of comfort”, an area where you can drive without severe anxiety, if not total peace. It’s the route you take to work, or a certain distance from your house, or a highway without bridges, or wherever you feel you can drive in safety.
I bet it has very specific boundaries too. It probably isn’t a whole state or even entire cities, but narrowed down to a certain highway exit, or street, or landmark. And I also suspect that as soon as you pass whatever that boundary is you start to sweat a little, get a racing heart, scary thoughts, and the further you get from it the worse the fear and sense of doom becomes.
Well you know what? It’s all bullshit. There is no comfort zone except in your own mind. There’s no monster that’s going to jump out at your car after that next freeway exit, and no mental illness that suddenly causes you to lose control if you dare to keep driving past that traffic signal you usually stop at. The only reason you feel ok at point A and not point B is because you’ve convinced yourself of it. You’ve built your own prison of driving anxiety and YOU can destroy it.
You’ve talked yourself into believing that a comfort zone exists, but it doesn’t. You’ve told yourself in your own mind hundreds if not thousands of times that you’re ok here, but not there. That you’ll be alright if you can pull over and stop, but not on the highway. That you HAVE to have a means of escape. You’ve brainwashed yourself into believing it. It’s silly isn’t it? You’re worried about losing control and somehow think that you being able to pull the car over will prevent it? If you told yourself every day that you were only safe in your driveway, then eventually that would be your new comfort zone (that’s what I did with my fear of driving). But I’ve got some good news…It works the other way too.
Once you get into your head that what I’m saying is true, that there’s no logical reason why one street or city is ok and another isn’t, then it’s a matter of convincing yourself that you’ve been living an illusion. There’s two parts to accomplishing that, to pulling back the curtain on your fear of driving and seeing it for what it is….a big lie you’ve sold yourself.
First, you need to convince yourself that it doesn’t matter where you are through your self-talk. This doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen quickly with the right techniques. If you listen close, you’ll start to hear you telling yourself that you can’t go someplace because you’ll get anxious, lose control, embarrass yourself, or panic, or whatever your driving phobia means to you. When that happens, you need to remind yourself sternly that it’s a lie. Nothing causes you to feel that way except YOU. You feel anxious and nervous or panicky in certain situations because you keep telling yourself that you will. You have the awful habit of telling yourself a lie that scares the daylights out of you. You’re not going to go mad because you get on the highway or travel someplace, it doesn’t make sense. If someone has a mental illness like schizophrenia, they have it everywhere; they don’t NOT have it in Idaho but have it in Ohio. They’re not sane on Main Street but bonkers three blocks down. I’m not saying you have any mental illness, I’m just saying the logic of what you fear doesn’t make any sense. You’re not going to lose control but even if you were, you’re not going to stop it by your location on the Earth.
Once you take the time to really think about it let it soak into your brain that it doesn’t make any sense, you should be able to combat your ridiculous thoughts with some that make more sense. Don’t forget you’ve told yourself that disaster looms around the next corner for quite possible a LONG time, so don’t be surprised if it takes some work to undo.
Second, you need to prove to yourself that it’s true. You see, it’s one thing to convince yourself with internal dialogue that the world won’t come crashing in if you keep driving past your comfort zone into the unknown, but it’s quite another to do it and escape unscathed.
You’re going to have to push through the apprehension and fear of leaving your comfort zone and resign yourself to dealing with whatever that means. Maybe it means you’ll feel terrified, but that’s all it is, a feeling, not reality. Nothing will happen, no monster will eat you, and the sky won’t fall. Feel whatever you need to feel and prove to yourself that you’ll live through it, and you’ll see your comfort zone start expanding. This is when you’ll start to make rapid progress towards overcoming your fear of driving.
In the Driving Fear program I’ll show you very specific and easy ways to make the fear you’ll feel go away faster and often not even show up in the first place. I’ll let you in on the secret that will let you convince yourself that there’s nothing to be afraid of, just like you convinced yourself otherwise. I call it the ROAD Technique™ and it will shave a LOT of time off your recovery (what may have taken months or years can take days). As a matter of fact, it doesn’t just make you feel less scared when bursting out of your comfort zone, it actually makes you relaxed when you do it, it’s like flipping the “off” switch on your fear. When you’re ready to burst out of the bubble of your fear of driving comfort zone, go to our home page and get started, it can be easier and a hell of a lot less painful than you think.
Published with permission from www.DrivingFearHelp.com